The Arizona Diamonbacks are once again shopping young, power-hitting outfielder Justin Upton in another effort to rebuild. There is a clear need for a game-changer in the Phillies outfield as questions still surround Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf, and John Mayberry Jr. The Phillies will be in the market searching for another option, but it’s hard to believe they can make a deal of this magnitude happen.
Last season, Upton hit 17 home runs, a down year compared to his breakout 2011 in which he slugged 31 homers and posted an OPS just under .900. Upton is just 25 and has a team friendly contract that runs through 2015 and pays him $9.5 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014, and $14.5 million in 2015. That’s a relative pittance for a young outfielder that appears to be a budding star.
That budding star will not be playing for the Phillies; it’s not likely anyway. According to USA Today, the Texas Rangers have expressed interest and have shortstops that the D’Backs might covet. And that’s the true issue here – talent going the other way. Arizona is said to want a few major league ready players, which the Phillies don’t have to give. If the Rangers are dangling Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar (more likely Andrus because he’s more expensive and older, although more experienced) that’s already more than the Phillies can offer.
It’s doubtful that Freddy Galvis, Darin Ruf, or even Dominic Brown would interest Arizona more than the thought of a franchise shortstop. The Phillies do have highly touted pitching prospects and some pretty good catchers in the system. That still won’t be enough.
For those pining to see the lawfirm of Upton and Upton in the outfield, keep dreaming. B.J. is much more attainable than his brother Justin.